Change Your Health Direction: Week 2

lloydspharmacy CYHDAvril Reilly, Pharmacist in our Governey Square branch, took some time to fill us in on how the Change Your Health Direction programme has been going down in Carlow:

‘We have really been enjoying the Change Your Health Direction programme here and I’m delighted to share our progress so far. There are 20 people of all ages being supported with weight-loss in our branch, ranging from twenty-something to seventy-something! They are all on the same mission and I am truly delighted to guide them through the first eight weeks of their healthier lives!

Setting goals was one of the first steps and this will be crucial throughout the program to help keep up the motivation. You know what they say about goals: “setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”. Each and every one of my Change Your Health Direction participants just lit up when they spoke about where they want to be by the end of the program and in the future. Weight issues can be such an emotional topic for many people – the initial consultation really made me realise just how much the success of this program would mean to each person taking part and it inspired me to do everything that I can to support them along the initial part of their journey.

A couple of products have really helped our customers along the first couple of weeks. True Life Heart Up has been a massive hit. This is a great product to help stabilise blood sugars and the red-berries & blueberry flavours go great on porridge, in yoghurt etc., while the original flavour can be stirred into soups, used on salads, added to scrambled eggs etc.

True Life Heart Up €7.79

True Life Heart Up €7.79

Chromium Pharma Nord has also been very popular, as many of the participants have a sweet tooth so it should really take the edge off their cravings. Great reports back on it so farJ. Cravings can sometimes be a sign that the body is deficient in something so a magnesium supplement is a good recommendation too. Another good tip for cravings is to take a little coconut oil off the spoon and for a chocolate hit, try mixing the coconut oil with a little organic cocoa powder. It really works!

Chromium Pharma Nord - €16.95

Chromium Pharma Nord – €16.95

Some of our participants started a week later than others but we have had some great results so far. One lady has lost over half a stone already so she is half way to reaching her goal! Another lady lost one Kg on the scale but I measured her waist circumference and noted a reduction in FOUR inches! I think I was as excited as her, I couldn’t believe it!! We had another lady who lost 4Kg after a week and it has made such an enormous difference to her. She came along because her friend was signed up but she was lacking motivation herself. She said that she definitely wouldn’t have started this journey without hearing about our program! So we are definitely inspiring people to lead more positive, healthy lives. That is something to be proud of!

We have our first event lined up this Wednesday evening – we have invited the participants to come along for a cup of herbal tea and some healthy snacks. From reviewing my participants’ food diaries, I have seen that many of them are lacking diversity and are sticking to fruit and nuts as snacks so we are going to let them sample a few different things and show them how simple and tasty they can be. We have invited them to bring along a recipe or two so that we can share them also. Bringing everyone together as a group means we can share ideas and chat about progress. And of course remind everyone that they are supported and that they are not on the journey alone.

Manager of our branch, Jackie, is starting an evening walking group, so soon we’ll all be out twice a week for some exercise to further enhance our new health directions! My participants are finding that getting into the right eating habits first is important, introducing light exercise later.

So that’s it in a nutshell! I hope that everyone is enjoying it as much as we are J

Wow! Amazing support being given by our team in Governey Square. And getting such fantastic results! We can’t wait to hear how the Change Your Health Direction folks get on over the coming weeks – stay tuned! Check out some simple snack ideas from Avril below.

Avril’s Snack Ideas:


Always combine complex carbohydrates with protein for optimal blood sugar balance and sustained energy.

Examples of complex carbs:

  • Wholegrain rice cakes
  • Corn cakes
  • Oat cakes
  • Rye bread
  • Wholegrain bread
  • Vegetable sticks (carrots, peppers, cucumber, celery, sugar snap peas)
  • Slices of apple or pear

Examples of proteins to combine the above with:

  • Hummus
  • Cottage cheese
  • Soft goats cheese
  • Natural nut butters (no added sugars) – peanut, almond, hazelnut, cashew nut.
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Smoked salmon
  • ½ small tin of tuna/salmon.
  • Dips (see below for recipes)

Other perfect snacks:

  • One piece of fruit plus 6 almonds or a dessertspoon of pumpkin seeds.
  • Probiotic organic natural yoghurt or Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit/frozen berries/teaspoon of milled seeds plus a scoop of Heart-Up
  • Sachet of miso soup
  • Roasted chickpeas (add whatever spices you like!)

Simple dips:

  • Pesto Dip:
    • Two tablespoons of natural probiotic yoghurt and one tablespoon of pesto mixed together.
  • Avocado and butterbean dip:
    • One tin of butterbeans, one ripe avocado and the juice of two limes, blended together.
  • Yoghurt satay dip:
    • Two tablespoons of organic probiotic natural yoghurt and two tablespoons of peanut butter mixed together.
  • Hummus:
    • One tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, one tablespoon of lemon juice, two cloves of garlic (crushed), one teaspoon ground cumin, one tablespoon tahini, one tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper – all blended together.
  • True Life Heart-Up:
    •  Full of protein and great for healthy muscles, bones, gut and energy.

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